Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Swift as light thoughts their empty career run,

Thy race is finish'd when begun;

Let a post-angel start with thee, And thou the goal of earth shalt reach as soon as he. Thou in the moon's bright chariot, proud and gay,

Dost thy bright wood of stars survey ;

And all the year dost with thee bring Ofthousand flowery lights thine own nocturnal spring. Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above

The sun's gilt tents for ever move,

And still, as thou in pomp dost go, The shining pageants of the world attend thy show. Nor amidst all these triumphs dost thou scora

The humble glow-worms to adorn,

And with those living spangles gild (O greatness without pride!) the bushes of the field. Night, and her ugly subjects, thou dost fright,

And Sleep, the lazy owl of night;

Asham'd, and fearful to appear, They skreen their horrid shapes with the black

hemisphere. With them there hastes, and wildly takes th' alarm,

Of painted dreams a busy swarm :

At the first opening of thine eye
The various clusters break, the antic atoms fly.
The guilty serpents, and obscener beasts,

Creep, conscious, to their secret rests :

Nature to thee does reverence pay, Ill omens and ill sights removes out of thy way. At thy appearance, Grief itself is said

To shake his wings, and rouse his head :

And cloudy Care has often took
A gentle beamy smile, reflected from thy look.
At thy appearance, Fear itself grows bold;

Thy sun-shine melts away his cold.

Encourag'd at the sight of thee, To the cheek colour comes, and firmness to the knee.

Er'n Lust, the master of a harden'd face,

Blushes, if thou be'st in the place,

To Darkness' curtains he retires ; Ia sympathizing night he rolls his smoky fires. When, Goddess ! thou lift'st up thy waken'd head,

Out of the morning's purple bed,

Thy quire of birds about thee play, And all the joyful world salutes the rising day, The ghosts, and monster-spirits, that did presume

A body's privilege to assume,

Vanish again invisibly,
And bodies gain again their visibility.
All the world's bravery, that delights our eyes,

Is but thy several liveries ;

Thou the rich dye on them bestow'st, Thy nimble pencil paints this landscape as thou go'st. A crimson garment in the rose thou wear'st;

A crown of studded gold thou bear'st;

The virgin-lilies, in their white, Are clad but with the lawn of almost naked light. The violet, Spring's little infant, stands

Girt in thy purple swaddling-bands :

On the fair tulip thou dost doat; Thou cloth’st it in a gay and parti-colour'd coat. With flame condens'd thou dost thy jewels fix,

And solid colours in it mix:

Flora herself envies to see Flowers fairer than her own, and durable as she. Ah, Goddess! would thou couldst thy hand withhold,

And be less liberal to gold !

Didst thou less value to it give, Of how much care, alas! might'st thou poor man

relieve! To me the sun is more delightful far,

And all fair days much fairer are.

But few, ah! wondrous few, there be, Who do not gold prefer, O Goddess ! ev'n to thee. Through the soft ways of heaven, and air, and sea,

Which open all their pores to thee,

Like a clear river thou dost glide, And with thy living stream through the close

channels slide. But, where firm bodies thy free course oppose,

Gently thy source the land o'erflows;

Takes there possession, and does make, Of colours mingled light, a thick and standing lake. But the vast ocean of unbounded day

In th' empyräan heaven does stay.

Thy rivers, lakes, and springs, below, From thence took first their rise, thither at last

must flow.

LIFE AND FAME.

OH, Life! thou Nothing's younger brother!

So like, that one might take one for the other!

What's somebody, or nobody?
In all the cobwebs of the schoolmen's trade,
We no such nice distinction woven see,

As 't is “ to be," or " not to be."
Dream of a shadow! a reflection made
From the false glories of the gay reflected bow

Is a more solid thing than thou.
Vain, weak-built isthmus, which dost proudly rise

Up betwixt two eternities !

Yet canst nor wave nor wind sustain, But, broken and o'erwhelm'd, the endless oceans

meet again.
And with what rare inventions do we strive

Ourselves then to survive ?
Wise, subtle arts, and such as well befit

That Nothing Man's no wit-
Some with vast costly tombs would purchase it,
And by the proofs of death pretend to live.

“ Here lies the great”-false marble! where? Nothing but small and sordid dust lies there.Some build enormous mountain-palaces,

The fools and architects to please;
A lasting life in well-hewn stone they rear :

So he, who on th' Egyptian shore
Was slain so many hundred years before,
Lives still (oh Life! most happy and most dear!
Oh Life! that epicures envy to hear !)
Lives in the dropping ruins of his amphitheatre.
His father-in-law an higher place does claim
In the seraphick entity of fame;

He, since that toy his death, Does fill all mouths, and breathes in all men's breath. T is true, the two immortal syllables remain;

But oh, ye learned men! explain

What essence, what existence, this,
What substance, what subsistence, what hypostasis,

In six poor letters is !
In those alone does the great Cæsar live,

T is all the conquer'd world could give.

We Poets, madder yet than all,
With a refin'd fantastick vanity,
Think we not only have, but give, eternity.

Fain would I see that prodigal,

Who his to-morrow would bestow, For all old Homer's life, e'er since he dy'd, till now!

ODE.

OF SOLITUDE.

HAIL, old patrician trees, so great and good I

Hail, ye plebeian underwood !
Where the poetic birds rejoice,
And for their quiet nests and plenteous food

Pay, with their grateful voice.

Hail, the poor Muses' richest manor-seat;

Ye country-houses and retreat,

Which all the happy gods so love, That for you oft they quit their bright and great

Metropolis above.

Here Nature does a house for me erect,

Nature, the wisest architect,

Who those fond artists does despise
That can the fair and living trees neglect;

Yet the dead timber prize.
Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying,

Hear the soft winds, above me flying,

With all their wanton boughs dispute, And the more tuneful birds to both replying,

Nor be myself, too, mute.

A silver stream shall roll his waters near,

Gilt with the sun-beams here and there;

On whose enamel'd bank I'll walk,
And see how prettily they smile, and hear

How prettily they talk.

Ah wretched and too solitary he,

Who loves not his own company !

He'll feel the weight of 't many a day,
Unless he call in sin or vanity

To help to bear 't away.
Oh Solitude, first state of human kind !

Which bless'd remain'd, till man did find

Ev'n his own helper's company.
As soon as two, alas ! together join'd,

The serpent made up three.
Though God himself, through countless ages, thee

His sole companion chose to be,

Thee, sacred Solitude, alone,
Before the branchy head of number's tree

Sprang from the trunk of one.

« ZurückWeiter »